Gary Keenan, a renowned chainsaw sculptor from Iowa, visited the University of Central Arkansas in January 2015 to create a second sculpture on campus carved exclusively by chainsaw.
Keenan carved life-sized bear cubs and raccoons into a large tree in the backyard of the President’s Home. The sculpture was carved using a variety of chainsaws and took two days to complete. The idea to carve bear cubs came through the Staff Senate’s “Campus Initiative Project.” The Staff Senate gathered funding initiative proposals from UCA staff members, and project finalists were invited to present their ideas. The Staff Senate voted to allocate funds toward the bear carving. President Tom Courtway approved the carving of the second bear sculpture after it was determined that the tree was diseased and would need to be removed.
Keenan previously created Valor, the bear sculpture carved in 2013, that remains a popular landmark in front of Wingo Hall. After being temporarily stored, Valor was returned to Wingo Hall and affixed to a new concrete base on April 1, 2015.